Indonesia Expat
Business/Property Info for Expats

How to Ensure Your Canadian Public Documents Recognised in Indonesia

Canadian documents
Photo by Jaimie Harmsen (Unsplash)

One of the most beautiful countries in Southeast Asia is Indonesia. The country has over 200 million people living in it is a hotspot for avid travellers all around the globe.

There are a lot of opportunities in the country, so it is not surprising why so many people are looking to move there. During the winter in Canada, the temperature drops and the roads are covered in heavy snow. A lot of Canadians look to move abroad, especially during the colder times of the year. The cost of living in Indonesia is cheap, and the Canadian dollar will go a long way. A lot of people from Canada have moved to Indonesia to live and work.

During the pandemic, Indonesia has enforced strict travel restrictions, and those rules and regulations are still in place today. However, the country’s government is hoping things will go back to normal later this year, or early 2022. It seems like more Canadian’s than ever before are able to work remotely, so moving to a stunning country like Indonesia has become an attractive option for many.

If you are planning on moving to Indonesia, whether it’s for work or pleasure, it is vital that all your Canadian documents are in order, and that they are recognised by officials throughout the country.

What Canadians Should Know if They Want to Apply for a Work Visa in Indonesia

Most Canadians who are wanting to work in Indonesia already have a job offer on the table. If you don’t already have a job offer, you cannot apply for a working visa yourself. However, your employer (also known as your sponsor) will be able to help you get your permit so that you can legally work.

If you are hoping to work in Indonesia in the near future, keep in mind that the process can take a long time. The work permit and visa application processes are called RPTKA and IMTAS and it can take months to sort out, so make sure you have plenty of time before you move there. It is worth starting the process sooner than later because there is a good chance that something will go wrong along the way.

Your sponsor will have to do almost all of the paperwork, but you might have to provide them with documents from Canada too. Most people employ experienced document authentication services who have helped several Canadians move to Indonesia in the past. Paying them a fee to ensure that all of your paperwork is recognised in Indonesia will help speed up the process. Your employer will have to obtain authorisation so they can hire you for the position. Without this, they won’t be able to apply for the work visa, nor your residency permit or a limited stay visa.

What Documents are Needed for an RPTKA or an IMTA Application?

Both you and your sponsor will have to have several documents in order when you are applying for an RPTKA or an IMTA application, including the following:

  • A letter from your sponsor: This letter should explain in detail the reason why the organisation is hiring you. It should clearly state what role you will be taking on within the business.
  • Letter of recommendation
  • Annual report: The annual report must show the number of local people the organisation’s employees and the number of foreigners
  • Business documents: The business will have to provide them with their tax number, a valid business license, and their incorporation document.

These are just some of the documents your employer will have to organise before they start the process. Here are a few documents you will need from Canada:

  • Coloured copy of your valid passport
  • Work experience: You will have to provide them with a certificate that shows where you have been working for at least the last five years. Your work experience has to be connected to the job that you are hoping to start in Indonesia.
  • Tax Identification Number
  • Passport pictures: Make sure that these are recent coloured passport pictures
  • You must write your own letter, stating that you have agreed to take on the position in the organisation in Indonesia.
  • Proof of insurance: Don’t take out insurance in Canada. You must buy your insurance policy from an Indonesian based insurance company. There are plenty of reputable Indonesian insurance brokers selling policies online. Before you take out your own policy, consider asking your sponsor if they are providing you with insurance first.
  • National Social Security number
You Will Need to Get the Documents Legalised Before You Apply for the Visa

Unfortunately, you can’t send away each document as they are. First, you must get each one legalised before you start the process. Legalising, also known as authenticating, a document that has been issued in Canada is a vital part of the process. If you send any document that is yet to be authenticated, the officials won’t recognise it. So, each one must be signed and stamped by an official in Canada. Once each document has been legalised, you can start the visa process.

Applying for working visas isn’t the only reason why Canadians need to get paperwork legalised. If you are hoping to get married to a local, or your Indonesian partner is having a child, you might need other paperwork authenticated. Here are a few examples of other documents you might need to have legalised:

  • Your original birth certificate
  • Academic credentials: If you are planning on furthering your education or you are going to Indonesia to work as a teacher, you will have to provide them with your academic credentials.
  • Medical history
  • Death certificate
  • Valid driving license
  • Single status: If you are getting married to a local in Indonesia you will have to provide the authorities with a single status document
How Does the Visa Process Normally Take?

Don’t expect to get your working visa as soon as you have completed the process. It can take as little as three months, but there are some people who have been waiting for their visas for up to one year. Make sure that you and your employer are aware that there might be a delay. There doesn’t seem to be anything you nor your sponsor can do to help speed up the process.

However, if you are working in the same organisation when your current contract is finished, you won’t have to go through the same process if your employer wants to keep you.


Although it might seem like a lot of work and the process can take a very long time, most Canadians love to work and live in Indonesia. There are some fantastic private schools and lots of beautiful places to visit. The majority of locals are friendly and kind. Although there are over 700 dialects spoken throughout the country, the national language is Bahasa Indonesia. Unlike other Asian languages, Bahasa Indonesia is quite easy to learn. However, most schools now teach their students English, and in the majority of tourist spots and major cities, most people can speak basic English.

Indonesia is almost 13,000 KM away from Canada, so don’t assume there are a lot of direct flights in and out of the country.

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